Art of Animation or Port Orleans in late August

hamema

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
I'm planning a Disney vacation for our small family of three, which includes a 5 year old who has never been to Disney. I stayed at Port Orleans Frech Quarter almost a decade ago in July and loved how quiet and small it is as well as the bus transportation. We loved the fact that FQ is so small we don't have to walk ten minutes to our room at the end of the day and that we always had a seat at the bus and essentially no lines at the bus stop when the parks closed. I remember staying at the value resorts and having to wait for two to three buses at night during park closings and the whole hassle of standing in the bus for 20-25 mins and then having to walk to your room. To me the biggest factor in the decision is the crowds. I don't want to take my daughter to Disney for the first time going through all the hassle with the transportation and all the wait/standing in the bus at night (and multiple stops at other hotels).

Our trip will be during the last week of August of next year (2020) and I don't know if the parks will still be crowded or not. I'm still deciding wether to save $500-$600 and stay at the Art of Animation (Little Mermaid rooms) or spend that additional money by staying at the French Quarter. Has anybody stayed at these two hotels at the end of August and can attest to the crowds at the parks and transportation to/from these two hotels?
 

DisneyWishes14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
I've stayed at both resorts and I've also traveled at the end of August every year for the past 8. Crowds are typically very low, but it is really, really hot and there are typically rain showers every afternoon. Of the two, I would highly suggest POFQ. I found AoA to be very loud and the LM rooms are the furthest from the lobby, food court and bus area. If you've walked all day, it's really hot or there is a downpour, staying in those rooms will not be fun. As you mention, POFQ is much more compact, the rooms are bigger, you will get two queens, a lovely pool area plus the boat to DS. Overall, I just find it a more enjoyable resort. After booking, I would also keep an eye out for discounts to see if you could snag a room at WL or a studio at one of the deluxe villa resorts that would still be within your budget. WL is all under one roof, so, if it's hot or raining, you can still access restaurants, the lobby and even the bus stop without getting soaked. It also offers boat service to MK and a splash pad for younger children.
 

Esmeralda91

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
By then, the Skyliner should be open, which should theoretically cut down transportation wait times significantly for Art of Animation and the other Skyliner resorts, at least for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It could also potentially increase the cost of those resorts.
 

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  • Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    The Little Mermaid rooms are a good 15+ minute walk from the main building at AoA. If you don't want to walk at the end of a long day (and I don't blame you, the walk to LM rooms is brutal!), I'd stay at POFQ.
     

    sullyfam

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    Definitely POFQ! Little Mermaid rooms are the furthest away at AOA and people complain about that walk frequently. We stayed AOA but stayed in the Cars section and it was close to the main building. BUT, the bus lines were always long at AOA and they are usually one of the farthest bus queues away from the parks. I think at MK, AOA is the furthest bus stop aside from Pop. Just something else to keep in mind if walking is a concern. In August, you will get downpours so I always keep ponchos for everyone on hand at all times.
     

    tgree9369

    #EarsUp
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2014
    Agree completely with the above! POFQ by far! We have stayed at both and there is no comparison. Our kids "liked" the pool area at AoA but not enough to warrant choosing it over POFQ. We stayed (last year) in the LM rooms and it is a hike to the main lobby. The lines for the buses are long and not near as frequent as POFQ. The atmosphere at AoA is value for sure - busy, crowded and loud. Not knocking AoA, the themeing is amazing and the pools are great but POFQ is much quieter and the pools are just as nice. And the staff at POFQ is amazing! Especially the pool staff - we had one of the best times at POFQ main pool - during the daily kids activities. We also stayed at PORS and I would pick POFQ over it - in a heartbeat! French Quarter is the better of the 2 if you want a family experience (In my Opinion).
     
  • Lumpy1106

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2010
    That's a big difference in price! We switched from Carribean Beach to AoA on our trip last August. We dreaded the bus situation @ AoA after hearing horror stories about busses @ value resorts. Boy was that wrong! The busses were great! The Skyliner will make it even better. The walk to the rooms will be longer, but $500-600 longer? IMHO, nope. You are walking all day in the park, what's another 10-15 minutes across the resort? The pools though...
    POFQ has a slide and a splash pad. There is a splash pad @ the central BB pool at AoA, but not the LM pool. The BB pool gets crowded. The LM pool does not, but it's not very special either. I wouldn't put too much weight on the pool though, because in late August you will see thunderstorms almost every day that will shut down the pools in the PM.
     

    TOBS2010

    A dream is a wish your heart makes...
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2011
    I would go with POFQ hands down. The LM rooms are much smaller than what you are going to get at POFQ. Sure, you would have the skyliner for Epcot and HS, but until it is up and running to know how useful it is--I am not whether or not it will be a huge selling point. POFQ is a peaceful and more condensed resort, plus in addition to bus transportation you have the boat to Disney Springs. With a 5 year old the splash pad at POFQ and water slide would be a bonus too.
     

    KenHutch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2005
    Yet another vote for FQ. At night when you go back to your hotel that single bus stop and the short walk will count for a lot. When the girls were very young they only cared for the pool but now they factor in the late night walks and it can count a lot.
     

    jaiminee krikit

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 23, 2013
    AoA is the cutest resort, I love wandering around there. But I would never stay there in a LM room. The walk to the buses is very long, and the walk to the bus stop at each park is SUPER long. Nope for me.
    We love POFQ. It was the first WDW resort we stayed at as a family, and it will always be my favorite. I love everything about it, especially how close everything is to, everything.
     
  • Disneylover99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2012
    I stayed in a LM room once in October. The walk back and forth from the main building just about did me in, so I would never recommend a LM room in the summer. :scared:

    I’d pick POFQ. You have a better possibility of getting a seat on the bus over an AofA or Pop bus.
     

    hamema

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2019
    Thank you all for your wonderful responses! We decided to play it safe and stay at POFQ. Looking forward to our vacation next year! Thank you all again!
     

    westie55

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2015
    I have stayed at both and enjoyed both. If walking bothers you, POFQ is probably a good call although I didn't think the walk to the LM rooms was that bad. Your daughter will love the waterslide at POFQ. It is great for smaller kids.
     

    RagonkForce

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2019
    I think you'll be happy with POFQ, we did AOA last trip. My family stayed in the Lion King suite and grandparents stayed in LM rooms. Their walk each day was brutal. But the theming was great for the little kids. We are staying at POR this time.
     



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